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Posted on Nov 23, 2012 in Food | 7 comments

Turkey Day 2012

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Twenty-two pounds of bird, twelve people, five hours of cooking, and two miniature schnauzers schnauzers. The food. Ohhhhh the food! Roasted turkey, butternut squash and sausage stuffing, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, sweet potato and spinach salad, green bean bundles, roasted brussels sprouts, cranberry pear compote with port wine, and turkey gravy. (Wipes drool from chin.) Then, to end the night, a trip down to Stafford to see Sean’s parents, where they had ALL THE PIES.

Yeah, I think it was a pretty good Thanksgiving. 🙂

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Posted on Nov 29, 2010 in Dear Diary, Food | 0 comments

Thankful (Part 2)

Okay, okay, yes, I know. This post is long overdue. An entire weekend overdue, in fact. But hey! It’s been a holiday, which roughly translates into vacation most of the time, right? So, I vacated this blog for a few days. But I’m back! And here’s all the glorious stuff you’ve missed out on. 😉

First things first: Thanksgiving Dinner!!

It was delicious, amazing, and fabulous. As the Head Chef, I don’t think that’s bragging at all. Hehe. No, it really did turn out pretty wonderfully, and we made (mostly) healthy substitutions for everything we ate. The turkey was definitely the piece de la resistance, my pride & joy. Brining is the way to go, people! I’m never going back. Brine, brine, brine!

I was crazy busy between the 5K that morning, seeing Tangled with the fam, and then cooking up a storm so I didn’t think to take photos of everything we made, save for the Lemon Meringue Pie I made the night before:

I’ll admit, it was a pie-tastrophe. It was my first attempt! It looked great at first glance, and it tasted really good, even if it ended up more sauce than pie… oh well. Does anyone know if you’re supposed to fully bake the lemon part before you put the meringue part into the oven? Because the meringue would have been totally burnt to a crisp if I had left it in any longer, but the middle was soooo runny, it didn’t take shape at all!

On the table we’ve got the entire Thanksgiving menu that I detailed in an earlier post, and here are a couple close-ups of my plate (the salad with beets, arugula, red onion, dried cranberries, and my homemade honey mustard vinaigrette was especially scrumptious!!)

All in all, a grand success! And it was wonderful to be able to share the experience with my family, including my aunt and uncle who drove up from Roanoke, and my mom who was  able to come home from the hospital just the day before!

Other activities that occurred this weekend included festively decorating the house for the next holiday! Now that Thanksgiving is over we can finally start preparing for Christmas, my FAVORITE HOLIDAY EVER!!!!! We went tree shopping on the 26th, hehehe.

Our tree has since obtained a few more ornaments, and there are other decorations that will be going up soon, so be prepared for more photos. Consider this a mere sample of the Christmas-y joy yet to come. Also, please don’t think that I love Daxter more than Harry just because Harry doesn’t have a stocking up. Harry’s stocking is just still tucked away in my parents’ attic, so as soon as their Xmas boxes come down, his will be hung by the fire with care as well. Also, I’ll try to take better pictures once everything is all finished so that I can appropriately convey the splendiforousness to you all. (Maybe I can cajole my brother into letting me borrow his fancy-schmancy SLR camera…) 😀

Also, we had a homemade pizza night using the pizza dough you can buy from Trader Joe’s.

Mine was a whole wheat crust with half-Hawaiian toppings (ham and pineapple) and half-Mediterranean toppings (chicken sausage, mushrooms, olives, capers, and prosciutto).

Unfortunately, my crust got stuck to the tinfoil in the oven and didn’t get cooked all the way through anyway, so I ended up just scraping off all the toppings and picking at them, hehe. Ben’s, Taylor’s, and Steve’s turned out pretty good though!

Most of my, er, “pizza casserole” still in a container in the fridge though, because we snacked on hummus and pita chips so much while we were making the pizzas that I was full by the time they were done!

Okay, I guess that’s about it for now. I am definitely nervous about my weigh-in tomorrow, although I’m surprised that I’m not freaking out MORE. I just know that I’m anticipating a gain from this week. I mean, despite all my intentions to eat healthy for Thanksgiving, I still ate A LOT of food, healthy or not. And I haven’t really had any exercise since running the 5K Thursday morning, so that’s a lot of days for me to build back up on whatever calorie-deficit I might have had going for me. But whatever, it’s a special week, and the holidays are hard. Hopefully you guys won’t judge me too harshly, and hopefully this won’t have caused me to stray too far off-track.

Regardless, I am so thankful for how far I’ve come. I’m thankful for knowing I have such strong support even if tomorrow ends up going badly for me. And I’m thankful that I have the knowledge and the tools now to keep going. To persevere. To reach my goals. So, thank you.

And with that last bit of cheese, I’m out. <3

Oh wait, I forgot to mention the other thing that I spent the majority of my weekend doing: trolling Amazon.com for Black Friday lightning deals and spending an obscene amount of money on Christmas gifts. Just had to throw that in there. And tomorrow’s “Cyber Monday” so I’m sure there is more spending to be done. Don’t you just love this season?! 😀

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Posted on Oct 9, 2010 in Food, Recipes | 2 comments

Oats Obsession and a Recipe (SHOCK!)

So, I recently became very aware that I am the kind of person who obsesses. Well, let’s not lie. It isn’t a recent realization. I obsess. And my most recent obsession? Oats.

Tuesday.

Wednesday.

Friday.

Today.

What can I say, I know what I like! I made the original batch of overnight oats, and the ones since then I’ve been actually cooking on the stove. The formula is always the same though: oats, vanilla almond milk, almond butter, a squeeze of honey, and frozen blueberries. Yum, yum, yum! It’s so comforting and satisfying, especially as we’ve had some cooler weather this past week. Even though these past couple days have been hooooot. Whew! Regardless, I am officially in love. I’m sure my obsession will peter out eventually (they always do) but for now, I’m just gonna ride the wave.

In other news, I had my Stella & Dot launch party last night! It was a lot of fun, and thanks to everyone who came out! It was good just to have a fun, girly happy hour with some friends. 🙂 Taylor got some pics with Ben’s superfancy camera that I’ll post later, but for now here’s a sneak peek that I snapped on my phone:

The jewelry display – I think everyone had a good time trying pieces on! It’s very misleading though, only about 1/10th of the jewelry there is actually mine. The rest is Kelly’s, my upline (basically my guide/sponsor/Stella superstar!) She was kind enough to bring hers over to add to the sample display, and I definitely picked out some more pieces I need to add to my own collection… 😉

Here’s Daxter showing off the silver La Coco necklace. 😛 We served up some awesome snacks that I’ll need to show off to you guys, too. My roommates Erin and Taylor were the BEST in helping me get everything made and ready, and our menu was pretty beast. Like I said, more pics to come later!

So after my sweet, sweet oats creation for brekky this morning, I wanted to use up some extra butternut squash that we had in the fridge. So I decided to make my Roasted Butternut & Turkey Stew!

Ingredients:

1 package very lean ground turkey
1/2 a large butternut squash, cubed
1 can whole corn (can use frozen if you prefer)
1 can peas  (ditto on the frozen thing)
1 can baked beans
1 can crushed tomatos or tomato sauce
1 huuuuuuge handful of raw spinach
2 tbsp ground/milled flaxseed (optional – gotta healthify!)
salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, or seasonings of choice to taste.

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Toss the butternut squash with some extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper and spread on a baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 16 – 20 minutes or until cooked thoroughly.

Cook the turkey in a large stockpot by drizzling a little EVOO on the bottom of the pan and season with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and garlic powder.

Add in the corn, peas, and baked beans. If you’re going to add flaxseed, do that now as well.

Add in the tomato sauce / crushed tomatoes and stir together. If you like a runnier consistency, you can add some water or chicken/vegetable stock. Bring the stew to a simmer.

When the butternut squash has finished roasting, just add it on in! You can now remove the stew from the heat, or you can continue to let it simmer on low and allow the flavors to meld further.

Right before you’re ready to serve, add in a biiiiiig bunch of raw spinach and stir it in. It will wilt into the stew and add extra nutrition, as well as some beautiful color!

Serve in an adorable bowl and enjoy!

I’m gonna say it was pretty darn good. 🙂 (Props to Taylor for the bowl – sooooo cute, right?)

Anyway, that’s all for now! Until next time, my loves!

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